Renault loses marketing chief in latest executive departure

PARIS — Renault’s marketing chief, Francois Renard, is quitting the automaker after just over a year in the post.

Company veteran executive Xavier Martinet will replace Renard, Renault said in a statement.

Renard joined Renault in November 2018 under previous CEO Thierry Bollore after working for non auto companies including Unilever and skin care products company Kate Somerville.

Renard is the latest in a series of top executives who have left the automaker, which has been struggling since the arrest and ouster of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Renault veteran Arnaud Deboeuf quit in September to join rival PSA Group, blaming Bollore for forcing his exit. Deboeuf had led the Renault-Nissan alliance operations.

Bollore was ousted by the automaker’s board in October when finance chief Clotilde Delbos was appointed interim CEO. Renault is looking for a new CEO with Italian executive Luca de Meo said to be favorite for the post.

Other high-level departures include Thierry Koskas, Renault’s former sales director,  Renard’s predecessor who is PSA’s head of sales and marketing. Former Renault executives now at PSA also include Alain Raposo, head of powertrain, battery and chassis engineering; Olivier Bourget, head of programs and strategy; and Yann Vincent, industrial director.

Martinet will join Renault’s management committee and will report to Olivier Murguet, executive vice president, regions and sales.

He started his career at Renault in 1997 in Hungary. He then worked for the Renault Retail Group in Bordeaux, France, and in 2008 was named executive assistant to the head of the Europe region, and then held the same position for the head of global sales and marketing.

He joined Nissan North America in 2010 as a senior brand marketing manager. In 2013 Martinet became head of Renault Portugal sales, and in 2015 he was promoted to head of marketing in France. Last year he was named managing director for Renault Italy.